April 21, 2007
Follow the SoCon Championship with LIVE SCORING
Cullowhee, N.C. - Led by the top one-two punch in the Southern Conference this season - junior Matt Cook and sophomore Andres Cuenca - the Western Carolina men's golf team opens play in the conference championship on Sunday morning at the Country Club of South Carolina in Florence. The three-day, 54-hole event begins at 8:30 am with half the field starting at number one with the remainder opening on the back nine with number 10.
Western's first golfer, freshman Cody Walker, is scheduled to tee off at 8:30 am on number 10, with Cook, the events defending individual medalist, rounding out the Catamount contingent at approximately 9:02 am.
"Through out my time as both a player and as a coach at Western, I can not remember a time when our program was this ready for the conference championship," said WCU alum and men's golf head coach, Gorham Bradley. "Over the last few weeks, our focus has been the best it has been all year."
He added, "This team has really bought into the concept of believing in themselves and believing in each other. They are a very special group that has a great opportunity to give WCU another SoCon Championship."
This season, Cook and Cuenca have combined for six, top 10 finishes apiece, including four victories. Cook, a native of Murphy, N.C., won three events in the fall portion of the schedule to rank as the top men's collegiate golfer in the nation midway through the season. Cuenca is WCU's most recent winner, capturing the individual medalist honors and a SoCon Men's Golfer of the Week honor at the Wofford Invitational.
Joining the aforementioned duo in competition this weekend will be Walker - who is coming off his lowest three-round score of the season; his classmate Ricky Stout, who has played in every event this spring; and the squad's lone senior, Tripp Morrow, who continues to boast the second-lowest career scoring average in WCU history (75.55).
Earlier this season, Western carded team rounds of 300, 291 and 294 at the Raines Development Group Intercollegiate, hosted by Francis Marion at the same golf course. The Catamounts bested four of the eight SoCon schools that participated in the event. Cook posted a seventh-place finish with a three-round, even-par score of 216, with Cuenca finishing 10th just one stroke back.
Also, in 2005 in just his seventh collegiate event ever, Cook claimed individual medalist honors at the same event at the Country Club of South Carolina, carding the fourth-lowest, 54-hole score in school history at 209 (71-68-70).